Carmilla

Strange Dreams College

Sleep is a physically and mentally vulnerable state; the body is unconscious, unsuspecting, and the mind is visited frequently by an array of distorted images called dreams. Only devilish and cruel predators hunt sleeping prey, when struggle is least viable and victory is guaranteed. The vampire, possibly the cruelest predator in English literature, often victimizes its prey in a dreamlike state; any suspicion of their presence may be mistaken for a strange dream, for weeks, while the vampire feeds, draining their victim of its blood, its life. The vampire has also been known to haunt its victim telepathically, through dreams, drawing the victim ever so closer to their doom. In Le Fanu’s Carmilla and E.F. Benson’s "The Room in the Tower," victimization in a dream has two distinct methods, adding to the intricate caricature of the vampire.

The history of the vampire within English literature has shown that the vampires who victimize their prey through dreams or dreamlike states are the vampires who have sought out their victim for quite some years, even decades. Carmilla first victimizes Laura when Laura is six years old, coming to her, as Laura recalls, in a dreamlike state Laura describes as an incident (Williams Le Fanu 90)....

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